LaGrange’s 35th Christmas in the Country: A Festive Celebration

by Staff
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LEIGHTON – Celebrate the 35th anniversary of LaGrange College Site Park’s CHRISTMAS IN THE
COUNTRY Event on November 17-18, 2023, as the historic park transforms into a site of Christmas past.
Located off Hwy 157, near White Oak on ‘Little Mountain’ with a 400 ft. elevation, it overlooks the entire
Tennessee Valley, offering a stunning view enhanced by vibrant autumn foliage. Visitors will enjoy
special music by the Stampede band, along with new vendors, food trucks, Blacksmith Craftsmen
demonstrations, and the sale of their iron-crafted art at the old Country Store. Chainsaw artist Angie
Chaney, from Spring Valley, will also be on site for two days, demonstrating her wood-carved sculptures.
Angie, who has received orders for her work from all over the nation, has been working tirelessly to

create numerous sculptures for this year’s event. The event captures the sights and sounds of an old-
fashioned Christmas, attracting locals and visitors of all ages for two days of traditional decorations,

entertainment, and free family fun.
Colbert County Tourism President Susann Hamlin said, “Locals love Christmas in the Country. It always
comes early; just when we are getting into the Christmas spirit. Reminding us of Christmases from our
childhood or stories from our parents and grandparents about Christmases gone by, it is a welcomed
event, situated in our mountain setting, with live greenery and mistletoe, hot chocolate, and a wagon
transporting children throughout the park. It’s fun, it’s our Christmas “kick off”. Meet your friends at
Christmas in the Country. You will not want to miss those fried pies or homemade cakes available for
purchase at the bake sale.”
Christmas in the Country is held each year on the weekend before Thanksgiving. The fundraising event
for the park began several years ago as a Christmas open house where natural, hand-made decorations
reflecting the olden days were on display. Today, the event has become much more than an open house
and offers a bake sale, arts and crafts, entertainment, visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, hayrides, and
tours of the pioneer village decked out in Christmas past decorations. Guests come early to purchase
homemade baked goods for their Thanksgiving table, enjoy hayrides to the old LaGrange Cemetery,

make family pictures for their Christmas cards, purchase craft items, and talk with Santa. Guests can
relive Christmases of the past while touring the park’s historic log buildings, all decorated for Christmas.
The LaGrange Living Historical Association hosts Christmas in the Country from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both
days. LaGrange College Site Park is located at 1491 LaGrange College Road in Leighton. Admission is free,
and donations going towards the upkeep and maintenance of the facilities at the park are always
Louise Lenz, from the LaGrange Living Historical Association, said, ‘Santa and Mrs. Claus are scheduled to
return this year. One of the most important features is the huge, newly lit Christmas Star overlooking
the valley, visible when driving southeast on Alabama Hwy 157. The old lights have been replaced,
creating a magical atmosphere for this year’s Christmas Event. Those participating in the hayrides will
experience a unique view while heading to the old Cemetery. This event promises surprises that you
must see to believe.'”
LaGrange College Site is listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage. LaGrange College
was Alabama’s first chartered college and the forerunner of the University of North Alabama. It was
burned by Union forces during the Civil War. Today, the pioneer village includes a picnic pavilion, a
memorial monument, several historical markers, a log barn, smokehouse, wedding chapel, barber shop,
outhouse, log kitchen, cemetery, post office, country store, blacksmith shop, and a caretaker’s house.
For more information on the LaGrange College Site Park, visit
For more information on Christmas in the Country, contact Louise Lenz at 256-446-9324 or Colbert
County Tourism at 256-383-0783.

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